Clive, it's pretty simple really. If it qualifies for ACSC Catalogue status it is CTO, anything else is per favour. That is my opinion, in any case.
Rod, for one simple reason ... these are remainders being sold off, not as specimens of current issues.
Specimen sets ceased to be in around 1970, so nothing after that currently meets the catalogue definition.
Sorry Peter, but that is wrong - by nearly 25 years!
The PO openly sold
sets for $2 in the early 1990s that contained dozens of current issues CTO with gum.
The ACSC fully notes that pack, and to your surprise possibly, fully lists and prices
the stamps that were inside it!
It has exactly
the same "Specimen" pack status as anything else on this long thread.
ACSC has notes on these on pages 9/xxxiv and say "early 94" but their listing on the CTO ones misses many
I know that were in this packet.
AP back then sold a little pack aimed at kids for $2
. (But anyone with $2 could buy it off them.) It had about $40 face or something crazy in there -- 100% CTO with gum. Or maybe it was £40 cat in there ... was near 20 years ago so I can't recall precisely, but for certain nothing postally used in them.
Each pack 50 was identical
. With Aust and AAT and Xmas and Cocos issues in there to $2 face value each.
Things like 1992 Barcelona + 1992 space Year sets, (see scans of cds below) SH Bridge pair, the 45c cricket pair from Aust and 1993 Dinosaur, and AAT 1992/93 Defins etc.
As SG cat was massive on these, I bought 1000 packs
and had a kid break them down into 1000 of each stamp design, and sold them wholesale, mostly to the UK. And made a fortune!
Things like the AAT 1992/3 Defin set had a face of near $10 and a cat of about £15-20 so I got a lot
more more per set for those AAT than the entire packets cost, even selling per 1000.
The balance sold easily for about $10 the lot, in 1,000 lots, so there was a nice easy $10K profit on the deal.
Peter Johnson from APW in MEL took legal action against AP, claiming AP had cost him a fortune as he bought large number CTO at FACE of these issues - which was true. He prevailed, and got a lot of money from them, as I recall.